Protesters stage 'die-in' at Rep. Knight's office over health bill vote

Protesters display makeshift tombstone signs at
Protesters display makeshift tombstone signs at "die-in" outside of Rep. Steve Knight's Santa Clarita office.
Michelle Faust/KPCC
Protesters display makeshift tombstone signs at
A woman who said she was dressed as a bubonic plague doctor stands with other protesters at the demonstration in Santa Clarita.
Michelle Faust/KPCC
Protesters display makeshift tombstone signs at
A woman dressed as a vampire leads chants.
Michelle Faust/KPCC

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More than 100 demonstrators turned up to stage a "die-in" outside of Rep. Steve Knight's (R-Palmdale) Santa Clarita office Monday to protest his vote for the Republican health care bill.

Some protestors dressed as symbols of death and disease, and about 20 laid on the ground with makeshift tombstones bearing inscriptions such as "pre-existing now non-existing" and "choked on Republican hypocrisy."

"Votes have consequences," said Philip Germain of the Santa Clarita chapter of United for Progress.

"Our representatives, no matter if they’re Democrat or Republican — in this case Republican, they need to understand that every vote they make affects people and there are lives at stake, especially [with] health care."

The issue is personal for Germain, who said he and his entire family have benefited from the Affordable Care Act. "I have a preexisting condition. I had surgery last year to remove a failed gallbladder," he said. "My dad benefits from it because he had stage four colon cancer along with lymphoma, my mother had a rare knee condition, and my sister has Crohn's disease."

Knight, who along with other House members is in his district during this week's recess, wasn’t available for comment. In response to a request for comment, his office issued the statement Knight made last Thursday after he voted for the health bill in which he said Obamacare "is failing across the country by making care more expensive and in many places, severely limiting choices … it will eventually fail in California too. Action is required right now to replace its most damaging aspects before many families have no choices at all."

Liberal activists plan demonstrations this week at Knight's offices in Antelope Valley and Simi Valley. He's among a number of Republican members of Congress coming under increasing criticism from Democrats, who believe his vote makes him vulnerable in the 2018 election.

The offices of Reps. Ed Royce (R-Fullerton) and Dana Rohrabacher (R-Costa Mesa) will also be targeted by protests this week over their votes on the health care bill.